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Synthetic Chemistry

The chemistry laboratory of the Ahmanson Translational Imaging Division (ATID) focuses on image-driven drug development.  Our goal is to use PET imaging to accelerate and improve drug R&D at an early stage in the development process.  Driven by the biological research performed within the ATID, our lab aims to develop novel therapeutics in which we incorporate a cold (19F) fluorine atom into the molecular scaffold of each candidate.  Substitution of the 19F with the positron emitting radioisotope 18F enables the use of PET to visualize the biodistribution of drug candidates in animal models, and possibly, humans.  One of the most significant challenges in the drug development process is optimization of the pharmacokinetic (PK) properties.  With our approach to embed PET in drug R&D, enabling whole body PK and pharmacodynamics (PD) measurements of each therapeutic candidate, we can address this important unmet issue at an early stage and develop new, more efficient therapeutic agents for cancer.


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